The Fullness Of Delights
The Imitation of The Sacred Heart of Jesus
Purify thy heart...
...therefore, and nothing shall hinder thee from being sweetly united to My Heart, and from tasting the fullness of Its delights.
1. The Voice of Jesus
My Child, if thou wilt enter into the intimacy of My Heart, and taste the unutterable sweetness of Its intercourse, cleanse thy heart from every evil.
For I, thy Well-beloved, am pure and stainless, I delight Myself among the lilies.
How could there exist a union betwixt My Heart and thine, unless thou hadst carefully purified it?
For who shall accuse My Heart of sin? And how canst thou say: My heart is clean; since thy heart itself is conscious of the contrary?
Alas! My Child, what a heart is thine! Born in sin, so long an abode of evil spirits, defiled and disfigured by so many stains, strongly drawn to evil and sadly estranged from supernal good; fostering so many ill-regulated affections, the fruitful sources of sin, full of itself and of the world, accustomed, for the most part, to have itself in all things for its ultimate object.
2. I seek a pure heart
Wonderful indeed is it, that thou darest invite Me to enter into such a heart, and to reside amid such uncleanness.
A wicked heart is to Me an object of abhorrence, but an unclean heart I loathe: how then could it delight Me to dwell therein?
I seek a pure heart, and all My delight is to dwell therein; and to be there entertained among lilies.
Whoever, therefore, loves cleanness of heart, shall enjoy My presence, and shall experience the tenderness, and divine sweetness of My Heart.
3. Let nothing hinder thee
Be not deceived, My Child, thinking that it is well with thee, provided thou dost outwardly deport thyself in a proper manner, since I look chiefly at the heart.
And what will it avail thee to have been pleasing, by thy outward conduct, to all creatures, if, by thy inward dispositions, thou hast been displeasing to Me?
If thy heart is stainless, then shalt thou be wholly pure: since it is from the heart that proceed evil thoughts, uncleanness, fraud, blasphemy and all manner of evil.
Purify thy heart, therefore, and nothing shall hinder thee from being sweetly united to My Heart, and from tasting the fullness of Its delights.
But, if only outwardly thou turn away from evil, if thou do not root out sin from thy heart, thou shalt never be free from vices: they shall sprout forth with ten times greater vigor from within than thou shalt be able to shun from without; and, whilst thou appearest to stand firm, thou shalt sink beneath the weight of inward evils.
4. Do not fear
Come then, My Child, prepare a neat dwelling place for Me in thy heart, and I, when I come, will be wholly thine, and thou shalt be wholly Mine; and there shall exist a wonderful intimacy between us, and a union known only to those who have tried it by experience.
Be of good courage, and begin forthwith this all-important work: thou canst feel no true joy, until thou finish it entirely.
Fear of trouble hinders many from perfectly purifying their hearts.
This is a device of the enemy: the wily foe, — knowing that on a true and thorough cleansing of the heart depends not thy salvation and perfection alone, but also that of others, and, above all, My glory, --this foe strives by every means, to keep thee from this undertaking.
Give no heed to the suggestions of the crafty schemer, who cares not, whether it be by true or false means that he attains his object.
Do thou pray, ask for divine grace; with this, set about thy work bravely; and thou shalt see that all difficulties vanish before thy greatness of spirit; and, to thy astonishment, thou shalt find, that where thou didst look for the greatest hardships, there shalt thou meet the greatest consolations.
5. The voice of the Disciple
I beg and beseech Thee, Lord, create a clean heart in me, and renew a right spirit in my interior.
My whole heart is defiled with uncleanness: and, from the heart, infection has spread over the powers of my soul, and over the senses of my body. Alas! O Lord! what is there in me without blemish, or altogether pure?
Send forth, I beseech Thee, the light of Thy grace, and illumine my mind; that I may know, and bewail, all the evil I have done, and the good which I have neglected.
O how I regret, sweetest Jesus, that I have dishonored Thy dwelling-place in so unworthy a manner, that I have displeased Thee, that I have saddened Thy Heart! I grieve, O my supreme Good: I lament and abhor all my sins: I avow my malice and my ungratefulness: I implore the mercy of Thy Heart.
Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean: wash me from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. Yea, from hidden offenses, and from those not my own, purify my heart.
Come, Jesus, enter my heart, and make for Thy self a scourge with the cords of holy fear, of lively gratitude, and of pure love, and drive out all them that defile this Thy dwelling.
Behold, henceforth I will give admittance to none of them: Thy house shall be called a house of prayer: in it, I will worship Thee; in it, I will love Thee; in it, I will occupy myself with Thee alone.
“Voice of Jesus” is taken from Arnoudt’s “Imitation of the Sacred Heart”, translated from the Latin of J.M. Fastre; Benziger Bros. Copyright 1866